04 May Spotlight: Caitlin, Education & Development
Where were you before joining the beauty industry?
I went to the University of Minnesota for a year to major in Education. I was enrolled in class, but I didn’t like to go to class. I knew I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t sure what it would be.
Funny enough, I lived down the street from the Aveda Institute of Minneapolis. I had a friend that went there, and she raved about how fun the coursework was. I thought, whoa, school can be fun?
Was that your ah-ha moment that the beauty industry was for you?
Well, I was always into hair and makeup growing up. In high school, I got in trouble for dying my sisters hair and I got my hair cut 1-2 weeks and changed it all the time. So always interested in it, but didn’t know you could do it for a career. I thought I’d teach.
As the Team Leader of Education and Development for Aveda schools, I feel like I married the best of both worlds–beauty and education.
What’s an average day like in your role?
First, I check in with educators and students to make sure they have what they need for the day. It’s my job to make sure things are running smoothly. I also meet with students throughout the day to make sure they have right study-skills, placement, grades, and so on. I ensure they’re on track to graduate.
How do you go about developing the curriculum?
Our lesson plans come from text book companies and Aveda. Also, we have supplemental lesson plans that we add in. Any changes that we make are based on feedback from grads, employers, and trends we see in the industry.
Can you share a recent change in curriculum?
Right now I am working on a new evening barbering class. Its our first evening barbering class, which is nice because it brings in students that may have not had the ability to go to school during the day.
What’s the most rewarding aspect about your job?
We truly emphasize a high level of excellence while also ensuring our students get licensed and placed. I want our graduates to not only excel in their craft, but also be an excellent team member—meaning they come to work, they reach retail goals, and they’re dependable workers.
All of IBW and AIM’s programs are different. Are there any similarities the programs share?
Yes! The things that are consistent are:
- The Use of technology, both in the classroom and on clinic floor. The instructors and students use iPads and we’re all connected through LearnAveda.net;
- Each program has an integration of wellness and business initiatives;
- Really stellar educators—we have a group of passionate educators (they don’t teach just because theyre burnt out)
- Aveda’s mission
What do you like to do on your days off?
Brunch! Trying out new restaurants and breweries.
Also, I tend to go to bed early. I’m out by 10:00pm, at the latest.
What about you might surprise people?
How long I’ve been part of the company. Actually, I started as a student in 2004, and then in 2005, I started to teach Cosmetology. I became the Team Lead of Cosmetology in 2006, and worked in that role until 2016. Now, I’m the Education and Development Lead.
Favorite Aveda product?
Control Force or Lip Savor.